Sony has announced that there will be a PlayStation 3 firmware update available for download today, patching systems to version 1.8.
The new patch will unlock full 1080p upscaling for PS1 and PS2 games, providing you’ve got a compatible HDTV.
It’s unclear whether the update will allow North American and Japanese PlayStation 3’s to upscale PS1 and PS2 games though, because these versions of the console use a dedicated PS2 chip for backwards compatibility with previous-generation titles.
In contrast, the European console doesn’t feature the PS2 chip for backwards compatibility and it emulates through software instead. This has caused problems with a lot of titles – you only have to go through Sony Europe’s compatibility list.
In addition, the update adds DVD upscaling to 1080p too, bringing the PS3 in line with other Blu-ray players in terms of functionality.
PSP owners will now be able to control their PS3 consoles remotely from anywhere in the world, providing both consoles are connected to a broadband Internet connection. You will also need to have the version 3.5 firmware installed on your PSP – this isn’t due for release until the end of May.
Finally, probably the most intriguing feature update is support for a selection of Epson printers. This will allow the user to print photos stored on the PS3’s hard drive or an inserted storage device.
These feature updates prove Sony’s desire to make the PS3 the complete home entertainment hub, but how many PS3 owners are going to use all of the new features? Drop into the forums
and let us know your thoughts.